MONTECITO, Calif. - Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stunned the Monarchy by announcing plans to distance themselves from the Royal Family this week.
A local royal expert is weighing in our rogue royals and their Santa Barbara connection. Will the Monarchy and American royalty collide?
“It certainly put the cat among the pigeons. The Queen is terribly upset because she had asked them to hold off on the announcement. A London newspaper apparently got wind of this and obviously Meghan and Harry wanted to put their own spin on it before the London Sun did,” said Richard Mineards, a Montecito-based royal expert.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell announcement has heads rolling across the pond and around the world.
“We’ve had the problem with Prince Andrew and the Jeffrey Epstein scandal and now this situation where Harry and Meghan want to step back from royal duties and spend more time in North America,” said Mineards.
Mineards has been covering the Royal Family for 45 years. He speculates Harry and Meghan wanted more control over how they were covered by the royal press and may have felt pushed out given Prince Charles’ plans for a slimmed-down royal family when he ascends to the throne.
“Meghan and Harry might’ve thought they were being sidelined given these ideas for the future and I think they just wanted to preempt all this,” said Mineards.
The royal couple are launching their new life with a new website and Mineards thinks they’ll split their time between Canada and California.
“Doria Ragland, Meghan‘s mother, lives down in Los Angeles 100 miles away. Ellen DeGeneres is a good friend who lives in Montecito. She went and visited them at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor Great Park and saw Archie back in the summer with Portia de Rossi,” said Mineards.
Our local royal expert isn’t ruling out future royal sightings here in Santa Barbara County.
“Of course Oprah is here and she’s making a TV series on mental wellness with Harry, so there’s a lot of speculation and we also have one of the best polo clubs in California here,” said Mineards.
Queen Elizabeth has reportedly given royal staff just days to come up with a workable solution and while breaking up is hard to do, Mineards thinks Harry and Meghan will keep their royal titles.
“How will they manage? Well speculation is that they’ll probably become one of the wealthiest celebrity couples ever which is causing a lot of chagrin in England,” said Mineards.
Now the question is, how will Megxit be financially independent and who will pay for security?
“They get funding from Prince Charles to the tune of about $3 or $4 million a year. They get Sovereign Grant Funding from the Queen,” said Mineards.
Mineards says if there’s a move to Canada, the cost falls o the Canadian government for security but if they settle down in American, it will be an increased cost to the Royal Division of Protection Squad to look after them.
Mineards also says another story is breaking on Sunday. The headline, the couple is rumored to be scoping out homes in Malibu.